Tuesday, May 27, 2008



(May 27, TBC)

There have been reports that Michelle Obama was the first to voice concerns for the safety, her husband, Barak, long before he actually decided to enter the contest. Certainly, Mrs. Obama would have serious concerns about her husband’s candidacy. Would the United States of America elect an African-American? Not only that, could the first truly viable African American candidate survive, literally and figuratively, the “process”; that almost two year boiling kettle of flesh pressing, fundraising, intense scrutiny, political attacks and sordid tactics, while enduring an exceedingly physically demanding daily schedule? That is some daunting set of questions to ponder let alone attempt to answer. Obviously, the Obama’s felt the weight of their convictions and that, maybe, just maybe, after the last 7 years, that our country might be ready for what the junior Senator from Illinois had to offer.

When the idea of an Obama candidacy became widely known, Michelle’s initial questions and concerns probably entered the minds of every American, particularly Blacks, those of a certain age; old enough to recall that our politics had produced murder in our life time. With the complex diversity of our open sprawling culture and society, was a Black man safe running for President of the United States? True, our most recent political murders – assassinations – occurred in a country and time more tumultuous, racially divided and, by today’s standards, less sophisticated than today. Would that make a difference?

Our society has grown accustomed to ever increasing levels of violence in all aspects of life. From our entertainment, competitive sports, hobbies, and recreational past times, to the staggering levels of criminal violence, levels that are the highest in the world among so called “developed” countries. Would some one take a pop at this man? Was there not the distinct possibility of some fanatic or psychopath motivated by whatever demons, real or imagined, not want to take a shot at this guy? Had these thoughts not been seriously considered by those at the highest level of our federal government, Mr. Obama would not have received a full Secret Service Protective Detail far earlier than any other Presidential candidate since the SSPD existed? The answer speaks for itself.

Arguably, assassins are in a different class than serial killers, predatory murderers, thrill killers, and other types of people who take the lives of others. Homicide is a very diverse and, in some ways, disparate endeavor. But, murder is murder and, one of a mind so possessed as to contemplate the assassination of a politician or other famous person is as anonymous to us, fits in with us as any other murderer. That is: until they become known. Perhaps becoming ‘known’ is a prime motive for the assassin. In any case, danger lurks every where: the potential for violent death knows no boundaries in time nor place. Inner cities, suburban malls, schools, churches – all have been the scenes of recent homicides. Barak Obama, as a Presidential candidate was bound to be in danger.

As this 2008 campaign season got under way (it seems like years ago) no one could have anticipated the twists and turns it would take. None could have predicted that, on the Democratic side, it would devolve into a vitriolic, nasty, angry, divisive brawl between the camps of Hillary Clinton and Mr. Obama. The contest between first viable woman candidate and the first viable African American candidate would invoke stereotyping, overtones of racism, sexism, class warfare, regional biases, and prejudice that should shame us all, particularly that small segment of the tabloid and cable “news-ertainment” industry that thrives on discord.

Once the whole show began tilting towards the gutter, it was a very swift and sloppy landing. Gutter politics have ruled this campaign and will continue to do so. It will probably get worse before it can even begin to get better.

Into this roiling environment, Hillary Clinton, speaking to the editorial board of the Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD) on May 23 raised the specter of the unforeseen as rationale for her remaining in the primary race. Although it is virtually impossible for her to capture the Democratic nomination, she persists. "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," said Mrs. Clinton. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June…” yes, that is verbatim what Hillary said. What it means or meant at the time has been hotly debated. That is not the debate that should be engaged in. The debate should be, how to call a foul, how to proclaim that enough is enough.

Every facet of life, from business, personal relationships, sports, public behavior is governed by rules; rules are the glue, some in the form of laws that bind our society. Just as it is inappropriate, and criminal, to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, so too should it be criminal for a presidential candidate to yell, “Assassination… maybe”, in any place, at any time, to any body. The fact that she has not been expelled from the race by an act of Congress, criminal charges or a Secret Service dictate is incredible. Had any average citizen made such a comment publically, the Secret Service would have most certainly have paid them a cordial visit by now.

Psychology and other related sciences have made much of the “slip of the tongue” and “the Freudian Slip”. We all experience with both and, most likely, on both the giving and receiving ends. It happens. However, few will disagree that such “slips” do not in fact represent the truest thinking, the actual sentiments the “slipper” had in mind at the moment. No excuse is sufficient for what Hillary said.

We live in troubled times; seriously troubled times. Engaged in 2 wars, a war of terrorism, a recession about to give birth to a real economic collapse, trade deficits, foreign debt, sky high prices for food, fuel and healthcare and we are now subject to this? Mrs. Clinton should suspend her campaign, take her husband with her, and get out of the public’s eye for a while. Perhaps she should never bee seen or heard from again.

Copyright TBC 2008 © All Rights Reserved

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